Could 3D Printed Houses be the Next Big Thing?
If you’re looking for a new home, but don’t want to wait 12 months or more for completion or pay extreme amounts, then 3D printed homes could be the answer.
The Chinese Suzhou-based construction-materials firm Winsun New Materials has managed to harness 3D-printing technology to build 10 one-storey homes in just one day, providing a quicker, safer and more affordable option compared to more traditional construction.
In order to build these prototype houses, four giant 3D printers were used to create houses measuring 10 metres wide by 6.6 metres high and roughly 20 metres long. The company has spent the past 12 years developing these printers at a cost of $3.2 million.
A mix of cement and industrial waste is used to construct the walls in layers to create these simple grey structures that are environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Each of these 2,100 square foot building costs approximately $5,000 to construct and involves minimum amounts of labour, thereby reducing construction costs.
With such low costs, Winsun’s goal is to make these 3D printed homes available for low income housing projects. For now, these prototypes were assembled in Shanghai and used as offices for local authorities.
Although 3D printers have been around for a number of years now, this is the first time that printers have been used to build houses. Winsun also hopes that one day they can use their 3D printer to create towering skyscrapers.
It’s not just China building 3D homes. Researchers at the University of Southern California developed a 3D printer that is capable of building a 2,500 square foot house in 24 hours, using a process called contour crafting. In Amsterdam DUS Architects have designed and are building a house that contains 13 rooms, called 3D Print Canal House that is currently under construction and will take 3 years to complete.
Published on 31st of October 2014 by Marty Stanowich